December 01, 2016


 NIFA awards $2.3 million to relieve veterinary shortages

​Posted Nov. 16, 2016 

The Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture on Oct. 17 announced 12 awards totaling $2.3 million to help relieve shortages of veterinary services through education, extension, training, and support for new or existing veterinary practices in designated rural areas.

The fiscal year 2016 competitive grants are funded through the new Veterinary Services Grant Program authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“The new Veterinary Services Grant Program will enable training and retention initiatives to support veterinarians and veterinary technicians so they can continue to provide quality services in rural areas,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “It also supports the expansion of existing veterinary educational programs and facilities, including mobile services.”  

Veterinary Service Grants fund work by universities, veterinary associations, and state, local, or tribal agencies to help relieve veterinary workforce shortages in the U.S. food and agriculture sector. Funds may also be used to support the establishment or expansion of veterinary services in eligible rural areas.  

The AVMA was instrumental in pushing Congress to authorize and fund the program. “It is gratifying to see the first dozen Veterinary Services Grant Program awards made. Each grantee will enhance access to a full array of veterinary services benefiting rural America,” said AVMA CEO Janet Donlin, “These grants are the outcome of AVMA’s sustained advocacy efforts over the past eight years.”   

Kansas State University veterinarians Drs. A.J. Tarpoff and Bob Larson test online decision tools in the field. KSU was one of the recipients of a grant from the Veterinary Services Grant Program. (Photo by Audrey Hambright/Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University)

Fiscal year 2016 grantees are as follows: the American Association of Bovine Practitioners ($224,136); Colorado State University ($238,251); the University of Georgia ($236,243); Kansas State University ($239,656); the University of Minnesota ($238,346); Betsy the Vet Inc., Hardin, Montana ($124,462); Lewistown Veterinary Service, Lewistown, Montana ($116,036); Town and Country Veterinary Clinic, Auburn, Nebraska ($124,760); Utah State University ($236,619); the University of Wisconsin-Madison ($237,327); the Wisconsin VMA ($238,429); and Squared Circle Veterinary, Evanston, Wyoming ($104,000).  

The AABP will use its grant to host two workshops to educate veterinarians practicing in underserved areas to better manage their practices as businesses and improve the service that they are providing to their clients. Among the others, Kansas State University will fund training and networking opportunities for rural production animal veterinarians. Town and Country Veterinary Clinic in Nebraska will expand its mobile veterinary practice service radius an additional 20-40 miles with the help of its grant. 


More information on these and other projects is

available on the NIFA website.   


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